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Clerk Charged With Selling Four Loko To Minors

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The fallout continues following a weekend crash that ended with the death of 14-year-old Valeria Rodriquez.

After the crash, investigators discovered the alcoholic energy drink “Four Loko” in the car and that had many wondering if the drink played a role in the deadly crash.

Now, just days after the crash store clerk Satish Phuyal has been arrested for selling Four Loko to Rodriguez and her friends.

On Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that Four Loko, and other alcoholic drinks like it, contain a dangerous additive – caffeine.

Just as the FDA made the ruling, Phusion Products, the company behind Four Loko, said it would remove the caffeine from its products. Until that happens, some North Texas stores are pulling the product from shelves.

Officials from the QuikTrip convenience stores sent employees an e-mail Wednesday night informing them of the company’s decision to pull Four Loko from the shelves.

QuikTrip issued a statement to CBS 11 News that said, “QuikTrip made the decision to take a pro-active stance and remove the product in question off the shelf. Today the F.D.A. commented the products could have unsafe ingredients, QuikTrip believes the manufacturers will change their ingredients and receive authorization before they again offer their product to the general public. Until that assurance is given, QuikTrip will not offer off those product.”

But other stores, including the one where police say the teenage victim and her friends were able to buy the drink, are still selling the drinks.

Store clerk Phuyal, 22, was arrested and charged with selling alcohol to a minor.

Phuyal’s co-worker, Raj Dawadi, says he has not spoken to Phuyal and, so far, there have been no changes to store policy. Of Phuyal, Dawadi said, “He’s a good guy. If he sold it, I don’t know if he did, I don’t know why he did.”

Despite there being no change in policy at the convenience store, Dawadi went on to say that he, and other store clerks, will likely start checking identification twice, and in some cases three times. “We are the ones working here. We sell beer. So yeah, we have the responsibility,” he said.

Phuyal was released from jail on $1,500 bond. CBS 11 News attempted to speak with him on Thursday but could not reach him.

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